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News: Twitter launches ‘Flight School’

in 2014, people are no longer asking Why Twitter? they are asking How Twitter? And as if by magic Twitter has followed the lead of the likes of Facebook, Google and Buzzfeed and has launched it’s very own learning hub – Flight School to help agencies use Twitter more effectively as a marketing tool.

Twitter say:

“For marketers who want to reach consumers during today’s biggest live, public and conversational moments, there’s no better place than Twitter. Flight School has given us added expertise to leverage Twitter’s real-time marketing platform to create impactful campaigns for our clients in the evolving digital media landscape.”

The online tutorials will cover maximising content, tailoring campaigns for specific clients and promoting messages at the right time to reach a target audience.

Facebook Messenger App

I’m not sure why there has been a sudden flurry of scepticism about the Facebook Messenger Android app while I’ve been away (only for a few days) as it isn’t exactly new, it originally launched in 2011!

At Dot-Social we’re all on iOS and want the latest version of most things to keep us all up-to-date.  I personally believe Facebook make changes to enhance what we do, to keep us all on there!  The difference is that the Android version of the app is having to play by Google’s rules and declare all it’s capabilities which, when spelt out, seem quite alarming and possibly intrusive, using all kinds of data from your mobile.

This article from Mashable helps with the detail of what people are concerned about and should help decide whether you should be worried. It’s aptly named, Don’t Freak Out About the Facebook Messenger App.

Facebook’s own blog on this, Why is the Messenger app requesting permission to access features on my Android phone or tablet? explains why they need the permissions stated.  Even if you don’t really understand it all, you can get the gist.

You’ll see in the first blog post that they advise these permissions already applied to Facebook’s main app, and many of them are standard for social media apps like this anyway. It was in April this year when they split the app and started rolling it out.  The app reduces the different ways in which Facebook has to handle messages in its standard app and, “It would be too cumbersome to add to the standard app.”

In very basic terms, within Facebook if you want to send someone a picture from your android mobile, you’ll need to have given the messenger app permission to access your photos.  However, if you still don’t want to use the Messenger app, you can still access Facebook messages by accessing the site through a mobile browser.  You can then access and respond to your messages without using the Messenger app.

New changes to Facebook rules – HURRAY!

Facebook like, dislike image

Facebook like, dislike image

As a user, I was extremely pleased to read about the new Facebook Platform Policy (7 Aug, fully effective on 5 Nov 2014) stopping Pages apps requiring you to like a Page in order to enter competitions etc.  Like-gating, as it’s known, is now prohibited by policy.

What is it?

It’s when competitions and promotions require you enter by following their request of liking their Page.

However, there are many Pages not following the rules that already apply to promotions and offers.  This could be due to lack of knowledge and understanding, blatantly ignoring them or attempting to get hundreds of likes.  The latter doesn’t particularly help your marketing because if the person doesn’t really ‘like’ your Page, they with either unlike it or remain dormant, limiting the reach of your posts.  Remember it’s about quality not quantity.  You want an engaged audience, not huge figures of uninterested people on your Page.  After 5 November even if an existing app requests a Page like, it will be disabled by Facebook (in effect) and not count whether the entrant has or hasn’t liked the Page!  For a new app, we believe this is in effect already (from 7 Aug 2014) and some have 90 days to comply.

There have always been strict rules around competitions on Facebook.  To summaries these:

  • you must show all the terms, rules and eligibility to enter etc
  • must include an acknowledgement that it is not associated with Facebook
  • not request use of personal timelines (e.g. ‘Share on your Timeline to enter’ is not allowed)

See the rules in full in the Facebook Pages Terms.

Hands up if you are surprised by these rules?  There are plenty who don’t abide by them!

Another interesting rule that you may not have heard of is that third-party advertisements on Pages are prohibited, without Facebook’s prior permission.

The new rules that sparked this post applies to apps.  ‘You must not incentivise people to use social plugins or to like a Page.   This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.   It remains acceptable to incentivise people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.’   Read this and about the changes to Games apps here under Changes to Platform Policy .

So, in theory, we should see a lot less of the ‘Like our Page to enter’ competitions in our personal timelines.

As a Page owner if you have created a campaign or social strategy based on incentivising page likes through apps you may find have work to do!  But, in the long run, you will find other actions, probably more effective ones, to ask your audience to do, to replace that one.

The controversy over this is move by Facebook is really interesting. See the comments under the Facebook Blog, and Socially Staked.

When you consider how many Pages each individual has liked, narrowing down who sees what has got to mean users only really do click to like, in the future, those pages that you are really interested in, not just because they want to enter a competition.

We think this is a good move. What do you think?

 

 

Local social marketing tips

Because us Dot Social ladies come from Croydon, we know people who work or worked at Nestle and/or have a connection with Nestle because they used to have their UK Headquarters here and were the main private employer in Croydon.   They’re now down the road near Gatwick.  The Nestle building is part of the Croydon skyline, literally, and they lit up the Wellesley Road building at night with coloured lights.  They’re an American giant, but we have an indirect connection with them because they are local.

As online marketeers, we know the best way to gain positive attention is to provide great content and be a source of information relevant to our audience.  The problem is that nearly everybody (well, anyone with any sense!) is doing it.  This means even your best content may get lost in the crowd.

A very good way to stand out, especially if you have a local base, or connection with a particular area is by focusing your efforts locally.  Remember the saying, ‘Think globally, act locally‘.   Think about the big picture but if you’re starting out or a small business, you need to start small, and local.

Consider marketing yourself to smaller groups rather than targeting larger ones.  You can do this by joining discussions in local LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups, in smaller local Google Communities, or even at smaller business networking events.

People who know you are local are far more likely to read your posts and respond to them, connect with you and remember you if they feel that local connection.   We explained this at our recent Social Media workshop, that it can fall right down to the specific area in a town if you are a small, local business.  London is a big place, as-is Surrey, so although you might be intending to market to a global audience, if you are based in Guildford or Bermondsey, then say so.   Name the particular place and people will think of a connection with it, and it is that that makes it feel more personal and memorable.

With the corporate world and big businesses being seen sometimes in a negative light now and people turning to look out the bespoke, small, local business you’ll find, like us, a lot of people would rather do business with a local business than a big global corporate.  We see this all the time with requests on Social Media for recommendations for anything from a local plumber that needs to be local to a web designer, who doesn’t.

By the way, we can produce beautiful WordPress websites ourselves, but we don’t do plumbing – well, not yet!!

So don’t forget to talk about your specific location, your connection with places and also where you’re heading or where you’ve been.  Mention this on your social media channels as well as looking out suitable places to share your content with people online in smaller localised groups.   Think about your business according to both local and global considerations.

We organise Tweetups, which are a social gathering in Croydon. If you’d like to come to one and/or meet us, see the next dates and any of our other events on our Events Page.

Another successful Social Media workshop completed!

PF_DS_workshop-67

PF_DS_workshop-87PF_DS_workshop-123

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Us Dot Social girls are very busy working on our client’s online presence lately but we also get involved in community projects, this week has been specifically focused on Purley Festival.

We have all been involved in the festival from its fruition and between us we take care of the music, organisation of the weekend finale, website design and maintenance and all the social media accounts.

As part of the Purley Festival week we thought it would be great if we ran our own event to help local businesses in our community. So on Wednesday, we ran a  Social Media workshop at Christ Church, Purley where I outlined our 6 steps to successful Social Media Strategy and Wendy shared some useful hints and tips on using Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.  Our brilliant creative genius Ania was on hand, as always to take some fantastic photographs.

The session was fully booked with plenty of independent businesses, solo entrepreneurs and a few bigger High Street companies, the workshop was a great success but don’t take our word for it, we had some great feedback…

 

tweets 2 tweets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Future workshops

We will be running workshops later in the year, if you are interested in learning about getting more leverage from your Social Media drop us a line!

 

 

 

 

 

What can people see on your Facebook Page?

Facebook Page Privacy jpg

When you’re logged into your own business or community Page on Facebook it’s good to keep in mind that you can probably see more than people who are viewing or have Liked your page can see.  There are also a few things you may not be able to see that others can eg a comment that’s been made private between friends about your page.

You can see all the posts on your page, even ones that have been ‘hidden’ but a visitor won’t see them.

Unless you’ve changed the settings, people will also see Other People’s posts to your page, and interactions THEIR friends have had with your page and who of their friends have Liked your page. If you want to change this you can either ‘Require your approval for others posts to your page’ or turn of the Recent Posts By Others box – See how to here!

If you have need to, you can remove someone from you page, or go further and BAN them! See more on that here.  You can also add a profanities filter or even ban the use of particular words!

You can set country and age restrictions of people who see/like your page, decide if you want people to tag photos and all sorts in Edit Settings and even make your page more visible.

At the top of your Page, click Edit Page then Select Edit Settings

Go and have a look NOW and see if you want to add/change anything on your Facebook Page!

 

We’re Dot Social on Facebook.  There we share our blogs and other useful marketing and social media tips. We are @Dotsocialise on Twitter, if you’d like to connect with us individually on Twitter, we are @AniaWL, @StephanieDarkes and I’m @WendyAnnAger.

 

 

 

Post photos from your phone straight a Facebook Album

 

UPDATE – you CAN now post photos from your mobile into albums using the Facebook Pages app- Hurray!!

This came up whilst we were talking at Croydon’s Meanwhile Use marketing day.   I explained that posting photos is great and to do it from your mobile is easy and can create buzz for projects, but to remember to go and upload them into albums on your Page later with dates, descriptions, tags etc and then you can link to those albums and share them etc.   Otherwise they all just sit in ‘mobile uploads’ and that’s a massive mess!

However, I don’t think a lot of people know that, for your personal profile, you can actually add to an Album or even Create an Album on your phone.

After selecting ‘Share a Photo’ on your timeline and selecting them, click the icon underneath (below!) and you can add to an Album or create a new Album.

  • Choose an album

Alternatively, on the iPhone Facebook App, from anywhere just go to ‘More’ then scroll down until you see ‘Photos’ and in there you can upload like you do from your PC.

Both give you the options to add a description, location, people-tagging and privacy alterations as normal.

The only thing we’ve noticed you can’t do is Edit the Album to do things like re-order the photos like you can from your PC.

So, there’s no need to re-upload to organise your photos into Albums.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be available for Pages Apps yet, but for personal use it’s great.

We hope you find our Blog useful and if you’d like more tips from us please do connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

10 easy ideas to post on your Social Media

A lot of people we meet who aren’t yet using Social Media or haven’t fully integrated it into their marketing plans ask us what they should post on their Social Media channels.

There are literally hundreds of things you can post about but for some simple outgoing post suggestions for your social media, see below.   We recommend the 80/20 rule i.e. 80% sharing useful information and content and engaging with your audience and just 20% directed to your business.

1.  Promotional offers for your products/services

2. How your product/services solve your customers’ problems or help them

3. Comparisions of yours to other similar products/services

4. Reviews of your products/services or testimonials/case studies

5. Best of, top sellers or customers’ favourites

6. Your USP

7.  What you’re working on right now

9.  Industry news

10. Share photos or video of your people doing their work or using your products

We’ll post some more suggestions in the future, but hopefully these will give you some inspiration if you’re struggling with what to talk about.  Don’t forget, we’re very social and happy to join you in conversation, especially on Twitter, so do follow us @DotSocialise and

Wendy Ager @WendyAnnAger

Stephanie Darkes @StephanieDarkes

Ania Wilk-Lawton @AniaWL

Have you had enough of Facebook?

When Facebook was in full swing, it was some small business’s dream marketing tool; it was free, people were buying into it and it was a great way to communicate with customers and potential customers. But lately, the bubble feels like it’s bursting and as it become harder and more costly to promote your business on Facebook and posts on business pages are getting less and less reach.

Is Facebook disappearing to the bottom of your list of marketing priorities?

Time magazine tells us that The Free Marketing Gravy Train Is Over on Facebook, but we’ve known that for a while haven’t we? If Mark Zuckerberg didn’t capitalise on his enormous audience and the people that bought into Facebook (us) he’d be a laughing stock in the business world and an urban folk hero in the world of the ‘everyday person’

It used to be that we would suggest our clients all include a Facebook page in their marketing mix because you could always get some leverage, but now, it is very much dependant in the nature of the business and the budget that they have for Facebook ads and post boosting.

These days if you want to market your business for free, don’t look at Facebook!

Social Media Marketing for Croydon’s Meanwhile Use

 On Wednesday, 26th we shared our Social Media knowledge at the Meanwhile Use Croydon Marketing Day at Matthews Yard.    We were asked to provide advice on setting up a social media strategy and social media profiles.   

We stepped-in and ran the whole morning session based on our two presentations, with networking and coffee between.   Stephanie talked on creating a successful social media strategy and Wendy talked about social media profiles and improving your online presence.  There were a real mix of people in the audience, from those with an interesting idea for the Meanwhile Use Croydon scheme and some others interested in Social Media marketing for their businesses.  

It was the last day of workshops and finished with Sally Williams talking from Retail Revival.   The final applications for the Meanwhile Use Croydon competition are due in by 30th March.   

We are happy to connect you with a very supportive local online community in Croydon for campaigns, ideas and companies, so if you are on/join any of the Social Media platforms do connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+.